Tough luck Kuda, over to you Monalisa GUNNING FOR GOLD . . . Veteran Zimbabwean female boxer Monalisa Sibanda is confident she will win the ABU title showdown against South African Mapule Ngubane in South Africa at the weekend

Tadious Manyepo

Sports Reporter

TOP Zimbabwean female boxer Kudakwashe “Take Money” Chiwandire is still soul-searching following her defeat by Mexican Yamileth Mercado in a World Boxing Council super-bantamweight title showdown last weekend.

The 27-year-old had set her sights at becoming the first Zimbabwean pugilist to win a WBC world belt before she was overpowered by her opponent last Sunday morning.

While Chiwandire, whose camp is pressing for a rematch given the unfavourable conditions she endured prior to the fight, is in low spirits, she was cheered for once as she was given a rousing welcome by a South Africa-based company, Zororo Phumulani, which is powered by Doves Zimbabwe when she landed at the OR Tambo International Airport in South Africa on Tuesday night.

The funeral company together with other corporates and individuals who had pledged to reward Chiwandire have committed to owner their pledges despite her defeat.

In a statement, the organisation said they would reward Chiwandire as promised.

“Zororo Phumulani powered by Doves Zimbabwe, the leading funeral and repatriation service provider based in South Africa welcomed Kudakwashe ‘Take Money’ Chiwandire from Mexico last night (Tuesday night) after her fight with Mexican Yamileth Mercado, the WBC super-bantamweight champion. The historic bout was held on the Saturday 18 March 2023.

“Even though Kuda was not victorious, as Zororo Phumulani we are proud of her for flying the Zimbabwean and African flag high,” read the statement.

“The mere fact of being the first Zimbabwean both in the male and female boxing category to get an opportunity to contest for the WBC super-bantamweight belt is an achievement on its own. Not many boxers have the chance to contest for this prestigious title and for that we are proud of Kudakwashe Chiwandire.

‘’Our journey with Kudakwashe Chiwandire has been a long one from the time she travelled to Zambia to contest and win the WBC interim super-bantamweight title, her defence of the title in Harare last year and now to Mexico where she put up a brave and spirited performance against the best-ranked female boxer in the world.”

Other companies, including BG Sniper Transport, who promised to hand Chiwandire US$2 000, have also reaffirmed their commitment to fulfil their pledges.

While Chiwandire is still considering her next move after the setback, veteran female boxer Monalisa “Queen of the Jungle” Sibanda has promised fireworks ahead of her African Boxing Union (ABU) middleweight title showdown against Mapule Ngubane of South Africa on Saturday.

The Sugarboy Malinga Boxing Stable-promoted bout takes place at the Donga La Botique Hotel, Ladysmith in KwaZulu Natal.

And Sibanda’s victory will, in a way, atone for Chiwandire’s loss.

Sibanda was originally scheduled to fight for the Women’s International Boxing Association lightweight world title against German’s Alicia Kummer this weekend but that fight has been shelved.

The postponement has paved the way for the Mabvuku-bred pugilist to go for the ABU belt against the highly-rated Ngubane.

The 40-year-old said she was eager to win the continental piece which could leave her in a position to challenge for World Boxing Council (WBC) belts given the ABU is a subsidiary of the Number One ranked board on the planet.

“As you know, I was supposed to be fighting Alicia Kummer of Germany for the WIBA world title this weekend, that fight has been shelved but I am still in it.

“But, before I can plunge into that battle, I have an immediate task which is of paramount importance,” said Sibanda.

“I am going to battle it out for the ABU title against Ngubane in South Africa on Saturday. This is a big step in my boxing career and I am looking forward to doing very well in this fight.

“I know I stand a very good chance of winning this bout. I have been training very hard eyeing for the WIBA world title so I am in very good shape mentally and physically.

“I have been working with different trainers including Kyokushin guru Samson Muripo. I am going to throw everything into this fight.

“Remember ABU is a subsidiary of the WBC and I know should I prevail; I stand a very good chance of having a go at the WBC.

“I have been a fighter over the past 31 years having been the first female professional boxer in this country and I have always been dreaming of winning the ABU title.

“And here is the chance. I am going to do most of the talking the ring on Saturday.” Sibanda’s fight will be the main bout of the eight duels lined up to honour South Africa’s boxing legend Thulani ‘’Sugar Boy’’ Malinga.

The two-time WBC champion’s daughter, Nomfundo, is the brains behind the tournament with the budding promoter saying she wants to honour her father while she is still alive.

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